Thanksgiving Leftover Salad Bowl

by Gena on December 1, 2011


Have I mentioned that I love Green Recovery posts? Thank you all for the warm, kind responses to Sarah’s post. Keep them coming.

It’s been a long week, which is why I’ve been very glad to have a ton of Thanksgiving leftovers in my fridge. There’s nothing nicer than coming home to something that demands virtually no work! This week, I’ve been focusing on my fantastic vegan stuffings, which were such a tremendous hit last week with my family. If you haven’t yet caught up on recent posts, these were a millet stuffing with roast brussels sprouts and butternut squash:

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And a “meaty” wild rice and mushroom stuffing (made with a delicious cauliflower and walnut base).

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I made, but didn’t blog, a cranberry sauce with orange zest and orange juice, which was a little on the tart side, but very tasty (next time, more sugar—or date paste!).

There are tons of creative things a person can do with leftover stuffing. It can go into wraps, it can be heated and eaten on its own, it can get stuffed into roast peppers, mixed with roasted veggies, and, if you’re me, you can dump it on top of a big green salad and enjoy it all over again—this time, with some fresh crunch!

Tonight’s salad started with a bed of arugula. On top of this I piled a heaping cup of my millet stuffing with brussels sprouts and squash, and about a third cup of my cranberry sauce (I don’t have an exact recipe, but you could check out this one as inspiration). The coup de gras was a new favorite dressing, based upon the delicious cranberry dressing I tried at Candle Café last weekend.

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Fresh Cranberry Vinaigrette (raw, vegan, gluten and soy free)

Makes about 1 1/4 cups

Scant 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 pitted dates
1/4 tsp salt (or less)

Blend all ingredients on high speed till smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste, and also adjust tartness/sweetness; you can add more dates or OJ for sweetness, or ACV or cranberries for tartness.

Altogether, this salad has everything: salty, sweet, tart, bitter, and pungent.

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OK, I lie. I have no clue what would be pungent in this salad. But it’s pretty well rounded—a taste party, if you will—and oh-so-seasonal.

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We’ve got a long month of holiday cooking ahead of us. Don’t just heat and eat your leftovers, folks—think about transforming them into fresh, creative, and fun nutrient dense salads. Everything tastes better on top of greens!

Hope you’re all ready for the weekend—I certainly am.


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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Fiona December 1, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Lol I love the way you threw in the fancy-sounding word pungent. I was totally going with it even though I didn’t really know what you meant! Haha I love silliness! I love the idea of stuffing peppers with leftover stuffing btw!


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 1, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Funny you mentioned the cranberry sauce was on the tart side and to add more sugar or date paste next time. When I was making my cran-mango-ginger-orange chutney and was playing around with the recipe, I was thinking…omg this is even a lot of sugar for me…but something about cranberries, they sort of need it. Well, for me they do :)

Have a great rest of your week/weekend!


Hannah December 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm

You’d think I’d like cranberries more – the Cape has an enormous amount of them – but they are just so tart! I tried on in a bog last weekend and it had gone way too sour, haha. But this dressing sounds delicious – and fresh cranberries are amazing in baked goods, far better than that Ocean Spray stuff.


Ela December 1, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Actually, brussels sprouts definitely pack a certain pungency, so you were right and not lying!
Amen that everything tastes better on top of greens! I’m definitely feeling the salads and sprouts right now, pretty much thinking of opting out of holiday fare (easy to do, as everyone around prefers the decadent stuff in non-Ela-friendly ways)…


Fern December 1, 2011 at 11:39 pm

wow this looks beautiful! thanksgiving salad–why haven’t i tried this yet??


bitt December 1, 2011 at 11:39 pm

drat all these leftover recipes cropping up and no leftovers in site! oh well, next year. i love cranberries, but did you know there was a recall? it scared me off a bit.


Ali December 2, 2011 at 2:14 am

Your back yard looks so green and spring like! Along with the dressing on your salad, it looks soooo good!


Rebecca L December 2, 2011 at 8:39 am

I WISH we had cranberries here in Paris – I’m so in withdrawal this time of year. Can’t wait to be back in NY for the Holidays and will definitely try this recipe, merci beaucoup!


Elizabeth December 2, 2011 at 9:15 am

I am making your cranberry dressing for Christmas and I also copied down the two delicious stuffing recipes for the family to enjoy!!
Thanks so much for all of your amazing recipes.
Peace and Raw Health,


Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles December 2, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Your stuffing discussion has me drooling. Leave it to you to use it as a topping for greens! I love it. And the vinaigrette sounds like seasonal perfection.


Danielle@ Gluten and Dairy Free Living December 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I am totally obsess with cranberries! I have two bags in the fridge and I almost bought another bag this afternoon. The vinaigrette sounds delish. I’m trying to add more raw foods to my diet and a salad dressing sounds like an easy, yummy way to do that.


Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen) December 2, 2011 at 4:58 pm

This salad looks beautiful and as usual, I want to try your recipe! If only I had every day to spend in the kitchen just cooking every amazing recipe out there . . . but back to reality. I do have leftover fresh cranberries from Thanksgiving so I am going to whip this dressing up right this minute. But I never heard of the cranberry recall. Should I be worried?


Christine (The Raw Project) December 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Gorgeous salad and agreed on leftovers, I enjoyed the brief break from meal planning. The dressing looks wonderful as most of you dressings are, can’t wait to try this one!


Ophélie December 5, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Mmm… I know what to do with my cranberries now…
Btw, do you really write ‘coup de gras’ in English? I’m French and to me, this phrase sounds really funny… we rather say ‘coup de grâce’ – ‘gras’ means only ‘fat’ in French… :-)


Gena December 5, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Oh god, that was a typo. Sorry.


Ophélie December 6, 2011 at 5:09 am

Oh don’t worry, I love it: such a great play on words! ;-)


Lulu July 8, 2013 at 9:02 pm

I must admit, Gena, that I always love reading your blog because seeing your pictures makes me excited about vegan foods and reading your posts gives me inspiration and confidence that I can live a happy and healthy vegan lifestyle. Keep up the good work!


salads for thanksgiving dinner November 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm

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